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Cooperative Development Program

Trained AI technicians in South Africa
Credit: GENEX

Cooperative Development Organisation

Implementing Partners and Organisations

South Africa: Dept. of Rural Development and Land Reform—KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa Land Bank, Chris Hani Development Agency, Agricultural Research Council, Red Meat Producers Organization, Lovedale TVET College.
Peru: National Agriculture Convention, Ministry of Agriculture, Department for Livestock Development, Village of El Porvenir.

Period of Implementation

August 2018 - August 2024

Geographic scope

Americas: Peru

Africa: South Africa

Cities: Peru: Pasco, Junin, Cusco Provinces
South Africa: Provinces of Mpumalanga, Kwa Zulu Natal, Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo


$ 9,277,653
€ 8 835 860


Bilateral Aid: USAID


Agriculture & Fisheries, Climate & Environment, Wholesale and retail trade

Type of Activity

Administrative and support service activities, Budget support (Grants or Direct Financing), Governance and Organizational Strengthening, Technical Assistance & Advisory, Value Chains / Socioeconomic Circuits


GENEX's strategic approach to the Cooperative Development Program is simple: in meeting their common needs, farmers can accomplish more together than they can alone. However, in many instances, farmer organizations lack the capacity to effectively apply the cooperative business model to meet their members’ needs or mitigate their risks. The solution: livestock producers and their cooperatives can improve their profitability, productivity, resilience, and hence, their compet-itiveness and sustainability in the marketplace if given access to expertise, mentoring and advice — and they use it. Based on its on-the-ground observations, quantified, evidence-based outcomes, and the significant, unmet need and calls for sup¬port from government stakeholders, industry partners, and local cooperatives for assistance. GENEX's local, hands-on experience, the potential for growth among smallholder farmers and nascent cooperatives exists. Cooperatives have the aspirations, attributes, common vision and committed member¬ship that are critical and foundational for success, but they will not succeed without a helping hand. GENEX's strategy is a holistic, common sense, business-driven approach to helping farmers operate strong commercial-scale businesses. Only when cooperatives and their members fully take advantage of their strengths, understand and address their weaknesses, and can depend on themselves will they be able to achieve the financial rewards that come from operating stable businesses where they are consistently able to meet the demand for volume, consistency, quality and product diversity. The programs overall goals are to: 1) Strengthen and expand the number and value of multiyear commercial transactions—sales, contracts, product lines, capital, joint ventures—where there had been none or few before, and 2) Develop market linkages with business, industry, government, firms and associations. Cooperatives that are open to learning, willing to adapt and which are ready to operationalize the Strengthening Farmer Cooperative Competitiveness strategies find that they dramatically improve their capacity to enter, stay and expand in the local and regional marketplace with a sound, competitive, sustainable footing that can have significant economic impact.

Project Objectives

In meeting their common needs, farms can accomplish more together than they can alone. In many instances, farmer organizations lack the capacity to effectively apply the cooperative business model to meet their members’ needs or mitigate their risks. Livestock producers and their cooperatives can improve their profitability, productivity, resilience, and hence their competitiveness and sustainability in the marketplace if given access to expertise, mentoring and advice.

Impact on SDGs

SDG2 - Zero Hunger
SDG8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

Main Indicators

Cooperatives Are Commercially Sustainable: Improved business planning and execution, management and member services, business organizational structure and agricultural know-how result in higher profitability and increased participation in value chains as suppliers to local and regional processors and as buyers of inputs from local and regional firms, stronger data analyses and reporting is regularized, expanded market linkages with buyers, investors and lenders, financially sustainable, relevant, viable member services are provided, farmers assume real ownership of their cooperatives.
Members and Cooperatives Are Accessing Affordable Financing: With business plans, technical guidance and networking, cooperatives will find avenues to financing and credit that were previously outside their capacity to access.
Sound Co-op Governance Is Practiced: Stronger cooperative structure and governance, more robust leadership, sound board structure codified and practiced, co-ops are legally compliant, transparent and accurate financial, farming and cooperative data is collected.
Farm Productivity and Profits Have Risen - Farmers Are Market/ Cooperative-Ready: Through agricultural training and mentorship, cooperative members will have improved their production capacity to produce to meet quality standards in the volume required to supply market demands, increased cooperative know-how in animal husbandry and value-added production.
Women and Youth Fully Participate in their Cooperatives: Leadership diversity and the number of young farmers expand.

Impact Measurement

Cooperative Is Commercially Sustainable
Members and Co-ops are Accessing Affordable Credit/ Financing
Farm Productivity and Profits Have Risen, Farmers are Market and Cooperative Ready
Sound Co-op Governance & Board Structure Is Codified and Practiced and legally compliant
Number of Youth & Women Fully Participate in their Cooperative Rises

Direct beneficiaries

Organisations: 34

Individuals: 3885

Local stakeholders

Empresa Comunal de Productores y Servicios, Agropecuarios Montevideo, Asociación Ganaderos San Pablo, Asociación Ganaderos del Valle de Nuevo Egipto, Asociación Agropecuaria El Dorado, Asociación de Ganaderos y Agricultores del Codo de Pozuzo, Asociación Holandeza Perla Mayo, Asociación de Ganaderos La Fortaleza, Asociación Ganaderos El Oriente Uchiza, Asociación de Ganaderos Nuevo Progreso, Comite de ganaderos Gran Pajaten, Asociación Desarrollo Pecuario Huallaga Central, Comité de Ganaderos de la Microcuenca Huanuco Viejo, Asociación Jarara de Baños, Cooperative Adigap – Pozuzo, Cooperative Agach – Oxapampa, Cooperative Agah – Oxapamp, Cooperative Agox – Oxapampa, Cooperative C Huayllay, Cooperative CC De Andachaca Rio Colorado – Pasco, Comunidad C San Antonio De Rancas, Cooperative C Sacra Familia, Immerpan Red Meat Producer, Vulalandbou, Zulukama Secondary Cooperative, Isebonelo Esihle Sec Cooperative Ltd, Makhoba Secondary Coop, Owothathe Coop, Bilatye & Mkhonjana Secondary Cooperative, Border Rural Primary Agricultural Cooperative, Ikhephu Secondary Cooperative, Mayime Primary Agricultural Cooperative,
Birha Beef (Peddie N2 Primary Agricultural Cooperative),
Sisonke Balimi Development Cooperative, Bemifa

Key Tags

Entrepreneurship, Gender, Youth